India train crash
In yet another tragedy, five children were killed at an unmanned railway crossing in India when a train rammed into their school van. Reuters

Five children have been killed and eight injured when a train crashed into a school van at an unmanned railway crossing in Uttar Pradesh in north India.

The Varanasi-bound train hit the van at 8 am IST (2:30 GMT) at the unmanned crossing in Ranipur area in Mau district.

All the students were from DD Convent School, Hajipur.

The van was carrying more than 20 primary school children.

"It was quite foggy in the morning when the incident took place," Mau's information officer Jitendra Pratap Singh told AFP.

In July, at least 18 children were killed along with their driver when the school van they were in was hit by a train in the state of Telangana in south India.

As on 1 April, 2010, there were 15,993 unmanned level crossings in India. It has been stated in the 2010-11 railway budget that all unmanned level crossings would be eliminated in the next five years.